Dental hygienists are licensed health professionals who focus on the prevention and treatment of diseases of the mouth and gums.
Dental hygienists work under the direction of dentists and oral surgeons in private dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, and nursing homes. Each state has specific regulations controlling the range of services dental hygienists can perform. Services may include:
Dental hygienists are graduates of accredited dental hygiene education programs. They must pass written and clinical exams before they can practice.